ILC Africa members mobilise skills, knowledge and people in campaigns for equal land rights on the International Women’s Day 2020.
During the week leading to the celebrations, ILC members organised actions that put the issue of women’s land rights in Africa at the heart of public debates.
From Eastern Africa to Western Africa and Southern Africa, members organised event’s, mentorships and campaigns urging governments to fulfill pledges made over 25 years ago in Beijing to guarantee women’s rights and to eliminate all discriminations and violence against women.
Eastern Africa Region
In Tanzania, the highlights were around Beijing commitments. We Effect held several events including a gender caravan campaign, which saw women soldiering 2680 kilometers to advocate for women’s rights. The symbolic match also asked for the inclusion of women in policy processes and in position of leadership.
Western Africa Region
Here, the African Law Foundation (AFRILAW) held a forum on women’s land rights in Enugu State, Nigeria, which included 50 rural women. Following that, it hosted a radio show which debated with women’s land rights and the importance of gender equality for sustainable economic development with Nigerians.
Southern Africa Region
In Southern Africa, the NKUZI Development Association organised events that skilled women and youth to engage land-based investment projects and negotiate better deals for communities. The events took place in 10 villages in Limpopo province and in the Xitlakati village.
Mentoring for Beijing
Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action set out a progressive agenda for women’s rights, which was embraced by African governments. The principles enabled governments to develop strong laws to stop discrimination against women, including on land. However, the slow implementation of these policies has meant that women are consistently denied their rights.
One of ILC’s efforts to prepare the next leaders that can hold governments accountable for the implementation of this progressive agenda is the Women for women, a mentorship programme.
“The Women for women initiative allowed me to share, learn and strengthen efforts to realise women’s land rights,” said Winny Chepkemoi, Women’s Land Rights Officer at KLA. Winny joined the Women for Women platform to mentor other women on land matters.
The programme also provides a safe space for women to interact as they promote gender equality and take up significant positions in ILC member organisations. Africa members are now banking on it to learn skills and build synergies that can enable them to put women at centre stage on continental and local land policy processes.